Just a couple of days after my previous post, my home PC died. When I say it died, it froze up whilst I was out of the room and I couldn't get it to restart. After calling in an expert the diagnosis was that the harddrive had physical damage and needed to be replaced. Annoyingly, the computer was just a few months out of warranty. One new harddrive and a hefty repair bill later, the computer is once again functioning properly, but very little could be saved from the original harddrive.
Things could have been a lot worse - as it is we've lost at most about most two months worth of data. I'm very thankful that I'd backed up the files from my PC to my portable harddrive (an indispensible Iomega 160GB unit - everyone should have one of these!) just before we left on our South Island trip.
Annoyingly, I'd been planning to update my backup just before the PC crashed. I've resolved to backup more frequently in future!